Lexis is the framework at the level of vocabulary. When we look at lexis, we’re largely considering the complexity, formality or origin of the words used.
Key lexical terms:
Monosyllabic/disyllabic/polysyllabic lexis (single-, duo- or multi-syllablled words)
Low/high register (higher = posher/more formal)
Low/high frequency (higher = more commonly used)
Slang; colloquialism; taboo; jargon; cliché
Examples of good ways to write about lexis:
COMPARISON/MODE ANALYSIS - there may be a link between mode and lexis, e.g. “The speakers use lexis typical of the spoken mode, such as the hedge ‘kinda’ and the filler ‘like’.”
CHILD LANGUAGE - it’s worth looking at the types of words in the data, or talking about the kind of lexis children tend to start with, i.e. familiar objects like ‘bottle’, ‘teddy’ or ‘banana’.
REGIONAL DIALECT - lexical choices are often part of a dialect, e.g. the Nuneaton ‘batch’ compared with the Leicester ‘cob’.
CHANGE - recent neologisms can be described in terms of their make-up, e.g. blends like ‘tescopoly’, acronyms like ‘wag’
LANG-LIT: COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS -it’s worth commenting on lexis, particularly if there’s a difference in register (if at all possible, also label the words you’ve chosen grammatically, e.g. “Plath tends to use more complex high-register lexis, such as the nouns ‘Victoriana’ and ‘atrocity’, which contrasts with Larkin’s use of low-register nouns such as ‘clobber’ and ‘crotch’.)